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Rio’s Militias | Gardênia Azul

I read it in O Dia. Add to clipping file on parapolitical protection rackets in Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere — the League of Justice, above, a prominent example.

Police from the 32nd Precinct in Taquara are carrying out a major operation in the Gardênia Azul, em Jacarepaguá, in the Western Zone of Rio. Their objective is to arrest militia members active in the area. The operation counts on support from GAECO, the special anti-organized crime group of the state prosecutor. Some 30 arrest warrants were issued.

Fabio de Souza Salustiano, aka  “The Roller,” and Robson Dias Delgado, aka “The Indian,” were arrested on Monday morning. GAECO says they are guilty of intimidating residents and business owners in the community. $R 15,000 in dollars, reais and euros  was seized from the office of the Gardênia Azul Residents’ Association, along with documents and fireworks.

Among those charged were former fireman and city councilmember Cristiano Girão — currently incarcerated; his sister, Roselaine Castro Girão Vida, aka “Rose”; his wife, funk singer Samantha Miranda dos Santos Girão Mathias; and eight others.

They are accused of criminal conspiracy and money laundering.

Police say that Girão, in prison since 2009, continues to lead the militia group … passing orders through visitors to the Bangu prison, Eastern Zone.

Girão was elected for the piffling PMN, the Partido de Moblização Nacional. He was arrested on the floor of the Rio de Janeiro city council.

A search through the morgue shows that Girão successfully applied for a transfer to a prison closer to home in 2010. After his arrest, residents were prohibited from celebrating Carnaval, the mid-winter festa junina, and Brazil’s appearances in the World Cup.

Secondary members of the scheme, allegedly, are Celso “Black Celso” de Souza, and Marcello Borges Gonçalves … considered close to the former fireman Girão and suspected of extorting residents and business owners through physical violence and moral initimidation.

Girão’s top lieutentant, prosecutors charge, was a state judicial police agent known as “Robocop.”

Haluska Almeida de Souza and Neuza Maria Correa Barreiros, business managers of the militia, used the residents’ association office to collect business licenses, rent and security fees  from residents and business owners.

Paulo Henrique Rocha Vieira is the militia’s collections agent and rides around the community in a black VW Santana known to local residents as “The Militia’s Big Skull” — caveirão, in reference to the military police armored vehicle.

After his arrest, Girão began to transfer his 20-odd real properties to Rose and Samantha in order to hide his assets from the legal system. These properties are rented to residents and business shopkeepers for R$ 350 to R$ 1,000 a month, GAECO says.

A Brazilian researcher has published an interesting thesis on public-private synergies in the Gardênia Azul case, which I am studying.